L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


turf war goes hi-tech
MMS of stripped gang leader on you tube
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

An MMS grab showing Talli being kicked by a rival
An MMS grab showing Talli being kicked by a rival.

Ludhiana, September 5
The gang war in the city is getting hi-tech with gangsters making optimum use of video-sharing website like you tube and multi-media messaging services (MMS) to terrorise the rival camp. In the latest incident, the MMS in which Talli has been stripped naked and is shown begging for mercy from Mohni is being circulated to create fear psychosis in the rival gang.

While the notorious groups of Mohni and Talli are indulging in fierce gang war, the police is watching the bloodbath and abduction like mute spectators.

Mohni and his accomplices allegedly picked up Talli from his house in Haibowal a few days ago at gunpoint. He was taken to a hideout of Mohni where the former was thrashed stripped. Talli was videographed while he was kneeling before Mohni. Later, accomplices of Mohni threw him in front of his house.

Sources in the police said they (Mohni’s accomplices) were released on bail and was looking for an opportunity to show his dominance in the city. Mohni enjoys the backing of a local backward class leader and have been behind a spate of assaults.

Even the police is aware of the MMS, but it has not taken any action against the culprits. The sources said the police was taking it easy. A CIA official said they would kill themselves while fighting with each other.

The sources said ever since the MMS and you tube video started making rounds the reputation of Talli had declined. He is looking for an opportunity to settle a score with Mohni.

He has not reported the matter to the police. The sources added that the circulation of MMS would rub salt into Talli’s wound and result in more gang wars.

Generation of funds

Both Talli and Mohni have recruited enough people to “peti mafia”. Both groups are minting money by ferrying hosiery goods without bills inside the local railway station in auto-rickshaws. The MMS was made in order to show Mohni’s supremacy. The gang is also involved in snatching and illegal possession of disputed property.

Fresh Attack

Sheru, a close aide of Mohni, attacked a youth identified as Harsimran and his wife near the Karim Pura Chowk on August 31. The couple sustained serious injuries and is being treated in a hospital. Sheru had settled an old score with the youth.


Another deadline gone, but no ramps yet
Partap Chowk flyover still not ready; MC puts it on rain
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 5
Despite the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) officiating Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi’s tall claim that the up ramp and down ramp of Partap Chowk flyover would be thrown open for the public by September 3, the deadline has passed and the MC is blaming the rain for the delay. He has now claimed that the ramps would be ready within a few days.

“There was massive rainfall in the city on August 31, September 1, 2 and 3. The base, on which the road was to be constructed, got wet, making it impossible to construct the road,” Jaggi said.

He visited the spot today and said the base was damp and construction would begin only once it dried. “I am monitoring the project and want that the quality should not be compromised with. Had we stuck to the deadline and constructed the road, it would have worn out soon and people would have complained. So, we decided to wait and let the base dry,” he said.

On several occasions earlier, the MC had set deadlines for the completion of this project.

On August 27, Jaggi, accompanied by senior MC officials, had visited the spot and had announced that the ramps would be opened to the public on September 3. He had even claimed that the Partap Chowk flyover would be ready by September 20.

He had pulled up the contractor as well as MC officials and had said if they failed to abide by the deadline, strict action would be taken against them. “But what can we do when the project has got delayed due to rain? Had it not rained, the ramps would have been completed,” he remarked.

The foundation stone of the project was laid on May 25 last year. The project will cost Rs 22.92 crore. The length of the flyover is 450 metres, while the width is 16.5 metres.

Due to the construction activity near Partap Chowk, the entry of heavy traffic has been restricted. These vehicles are taking alternative routes, leading to traffic congestion in nearby areas.



On the house! 112 defaulters owe Rs 22.65 cr to MC
LIT also on the list; tax arrears still to be recovered
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 5
Figures provided by the “cash-strapped” Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act reveal that 112 city residents, besides some government departments, owe Rs 22.65 crore as house tax to the MC.

Some of the defaulters include the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) which owes Rs 8.5 lakh, a telephone exchange in zone B which owes Rs 23.92 lakh and a hotel which owes around Rs 1 crore.

“The MC is not collecting pending house tax, the amount of which runs into crores of rupees. This is a huge amount. If it is collected by the civic body, several development projects can be carried out in the city,” said Rohit Sabharwal, president of the Council of RTI Activists.

MC Joint Commissioner BK Gupta said the defaulters had been served with notices under Sections 137 and 138 of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act.

“If they fail to deposit the dues, we will attach their properties and sell them to recover the money. It is better if they do it on their own else we will be forced to take strict action against them,” he warned.

The arrears that the LIT owes the MC is on a property that it owned near Lakkar Bridge, which it later sold off. “It will be recovered,” he said.

“Some departments of the state government have been exempted from paying house tax. If the list contains names of such departments, we will look into the matter. Besides, some cases are in the court and so, we cannot recover the outstanding amount till the matter is decided,” Gupta said.



Jalandhar trader duped of Rs 1.5 lakh
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 5
Subhash Chander Kohli of Jalandhar was duped of Rs 1.5 lakh by an unidentified person near the Mohan Dai Oswal Cancer Hospital here today. Focal Point SHO Kanwarjit Singh said Kohli came to meet a party in connection with his printing business. While he was meeting the party, his driver stayed in his Innova car.

Kohli said someone came to the driver and told him that a mobile phone was lying on the bonnet of the car. He added that when the driver opened the bonnet and came out, an unidentified person took away his bag and fled from the scene.

“The incident took place around 12:15 pm. We later received a phone call from the PCR that a bag was found near Basti Jodhewal which contained Kohli’s passport and phone number, but no cash,” he said.

Kanwarjit said the bag was found lying abandoned. The passport and some important documents were lying inside the bag while the cash was missing. “We have registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC,” he added.



Two laboratory technicians suspended for selling blood
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 5
The health authorities today suspended two laboratory technicians at the Ludhiana Civil Hospital for allegedly selling blood from the blood bank to an agent. Dr JP Singh, Director Health Services, Punjab, said Health and Family Welfare Minister Satpal Gosain had received a complaint in this regard.

“Gosain called me up today and asked me to place them under suspension. In the evening, laboratory technicians Kaur Singh and William Maseeh were suspended for their alleged involvement in the racket,” he said.

Asked if he had also received such complaints from other blood banks, he said: “Not yet, but we do monitor the blood banks.”

Sources revealed that the laboratory technicians were selling blood to agents who were further selling it to the needy.

Dr Yashpal Mehta, Assistant Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, said: “It is a crime to sell blood like this to anyone. Usually, we give blood only after verifying all the requirements of a patient who is under treatment. For this, we also check the doctors concerned under whose guidance the blood will be transfused to the patient. We charge Rs 300 for one unit of blood as per the norms of the government. This money is charged for the expenses incurred on various tests of the blood.”

Dr JP Singh said he would depute an official to conduct an inquiry.

Agents involved

The laboratory technicians at the Civil Hospital were reportedly selling blood to agents who were further selling it to needy patients.



Taxing time for industrialists
I-T dept issues notices, more to follow
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 5
The notices served by the income tax department randomly on taxpayers in the city recently has created panic among residents. Though notices have been issued randomly to industrialists and traders to check their records, the move has generated panic, with the businessmen visiting taxation lawyers and chartered accountants to get their papers completed.

According to sources, the notices have been served on assessees whose names have been randomly selected by the head office of the income tax department in New Delhi. The lists have been forwarded to the local income tax department for follow up.

An official said on the condition of anonymity that 200 notices had been served so far out of a total of 500. The taxpayers had been asked to produce their documents at the office.

Those who believed they could get their names struck off the list were mistaken as the list had been prepared by the head office and could not be changed. “Instead of wasting time on trying to use influence to get their names deleted, they need to prepare their documents regarding the return, rebate, account books and investments,” he said.

The head office would send its second list of 500 assessees shortly. “This is a routine affair. Taxpayers do not submit all their records at the time of submission and the department undertakes this exercise to check their records. Though the annual information return scans everything, the department checks the records to examine if the furnished details are true. If discrepancies are found, heavy penalty can be imposed,” the official said.



Teachers’ protest day
Work hit at colleges, not schools
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 5
Teaching work at government colleges was affected on Teacher’s Day today as a number of teachers went on a mass casual leave in protest against the ‘discriminatory policies’ of the state government. A number of representatives of other colleges also went to Chandigarh to lodge a protest against the government.

Talking to The Tribune, Jasbir Makkar, principal of SCD Government College for Women, said teaching at the college was affected as many teachers went to Chandigarh.

She added, “We closed the college around 11:30 am as there was thin attendance of teachers and students. A faculty member passed away the previous evening.”

Studies were also affected at the Government College for Women as about 30 teachers went to take part in the protest.

Jyoti Goel, a student, said they had to move around in the absence of teachers. “We went home early as there were no teachers,” she said.

Kuldip Singh, a faculty member, said studies had to suffer as teachers were on protest. Students attended classes as usual at a majority of private and aided colleges.

Though teaching work went on at schools, teachers’ organisations in the district observed the day as a day of protest.

Government teachers sported black badges, black turbans and black ‘dupattas’ to mark their protest against the ‘indifferent attitude’ of the state government.

The Sanjha Adhyapak Morcha and other teacher unions submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner.

Expressing concern over the ‘discriminatory policies’ of the state government, the ETT Teachers’ Union observed a hunger strike at the mini-secretariat here.

Students’ day out

The day turned out to be a day of fun for students at government colleges. Many of them, anticipating thin attendance of teachers, did not turn up. Others who attended the college enjoyed the early end to classes. “We are not sure about the significance of the day, but had our share of fun as we were free from regular classes today. It was a welcome change,” said a college student.



College Clash
Rowdy students outsmart policemen
Had submitted fake addresses while seeking admission
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 5
The students of Kamla Lohtia Sanatan Dharam College, who were involved in a bloody clash, have managed to outsmart college and police authorities. The raids conducted by the police on their hideouts turned out to be a futile exercise as they had submitted wrong addresses to the college authorities at the time of seeking admission.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Naginder Rana, who along with SHO of the Daresi Police Station, is probing into the matter said the police failed to get any clue as the youths had furnished wrong details.

“But we have asked the college authorities to provide us with the details of these students through the CCTV footages. If the cameras are working now, these must be working on the day when the clash took place. We will start investigating the case only after getting details from the college authorities,” Rana added.

Dr Shiv Mohan Sharma, principal, and Dr BD Budhiraja, director of the college, were in New Delhi for some work. But, staff members maintained that the college authorities were in no mood to punish the culprits (students, who took part in the clash).

A staff member said, “The authorities were helpless as these students had submitted wrong details. This will definitely affect college’s credibility as the authorities failed to check credentials of these students. Any ‘criminal’ can enter the college, take admission, commit crime and go scot-free? This is not done; all other students and staff members are feeling insecure. Taking action against one student will not serve any purpose unless all those responsible for creating indiscipline inside the college are punished severely.”

Dinesh Malik, officiating principal, said the college authorities were probing into the matter. A committee had been constituted to look into the matter. On being asked why college authorities failed to check the credentials of these students, Malik said: “We verify the credentials of at least 3,000 students studying in the college. Someone might have been left out.”



effluent discharge
Pull up socks or face action, Municipal corporation told
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 5
The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) chairman, Kahan Singh Pannu, has warned Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and sewerage board officials that if they show laxity in checking the discharge of untreated water into the Budha Nullah, they will have to face action.

“I have told them clearly that if they fail to take necessary action to check the increasing pollution levels in the city, we will have to take strict action against them,” he said.

MC Joint Commissioner Amarjit Singh Sekhon and Superintending Engineer (SE) of the sewerage board, RK Gupta, appeared before the PPCB chairman and assured him that their departments were making efforts to check pollution.

On September 3, the PPCB had served show-cause notices on the Mayor, MC Commissioner and SE of the sewerage board for the violation of the provisions of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. The notices were served as untreated effluent was still being discharged into the nullah.

Karunesh Garg, senior environmental engineer, PPCB, said the MC had said the enhancement of the sewerage treatment plant (STP) at Bhattian would be completed by November 30 while hydraulic testing had already started at the STP at Balloke.

“They were also told to check the increasing fecal coliform (a bacteria) levels in the treated water at STPs. The MC officials said it was because animal and human excreta got added to the water discharged into the nullah. They also claimed that 190 acres would be acquired at Gaursian village, where the dairies would be shifted,” Garg said.

Pannu asked the MC to close the discharging outlets into the nullah. “The MC claimed that four outlets -- Chand Cinema, Haibowal, Jamalpur and Tajpur Road -- have been closed while the outlets near Gau Ghat, Shingar Cinema, Transport Nagar and Ganesh Nagar would be closed by March 31. The outlets near Kundanpuri and Sundar Nagar would be closed by December 31. The outlet near Tibba Road would be closed by the National Highway Authority of India,” he said.

Sekhon said the MC had given in writing that a super-suction machine was being used to clean the sewer system from Chand Cinema till Baba Than Singh Chowk. “We have filed our replies to the PPCB chairman and he was satisfied with them,” he claimed.



Jan aushadhi store reopens at Civil Hospital
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 5
At last the wait of the needy to have access to generic medicines at comparatively cheaper rates is over as the Jan Aushadhi store reopened at the Civil Hospital here today. Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Sat Pal Gosain declared the store open.

Launched with much fanfare in November 2008, the jan aushadhi scheme for the sale of generic medicines in government hospitals met with limited success due to the non-availability of a vast variety of medicines for several diseases.

Not only this, there were complaints of overcharging and passing off certain branded medicines at these stores which provided a higher margin of profit, with the result that the store was closed down over a year ago.

Gosain said in the first phase, the stores were being opened at district hospitals and these would operate under the supervision of the rogi kalyan samitis of the respective districts. In subsequent phases, the government would launch the scheme at subdivision-level hospitals and later at the block level at health centres.

Dr Dalip Kumar, Civil Surgeon, said the reopening of the store would not only provide financial relief to poor patients, but also medicines would be available round the clock.

After the closure of the drug store, no store was opened in or outside the government hospital with the result that in emergency, attendants of critically ill patients had to rush to drug stores at other hospitals located quite a distance away.



Money, not passion for sports, matters these days
Parents pressing kids to turn professionals
Gurvinder Singh

Ludhiana, September 5
When Milkha Singh started competing with speeding trains, he would have perhaps never thought of receiving accolades. When Sachin Tendulkar ran out of the school for playing cricket, he, too, would have never thought of sponsorships if he turns professional.

When Dhyan Chand weaved magic in hockey, it was the stick, the ball and the net, which mattered more to him than medals. The passion for the game rules the hearts of these gods of games.

With sportsmen turning professionals, sports events are getting organised these days. Turning “professional” in sports has become very important. “All aspects of life are now getting competitive. Small children, who can’t even stand on their feet are being put in crèches or play schools. Compared to past, children are loaded with books and studies. Likewise, opting sports as a career means a lot. Sponsorships, professionalism, job incentives and sports quota certificates have become more important than the spirit of playing the game or for the child’s development,” says Navneet Singh, sports coach, Delhi Public School.

Sanjeev Sood, national and the state-level table tennis champion from the city, who played during 70’s and 80’s, feels that love for sports was paramount in those days. “Time, money and securing future through game were not our considerations for playing. When we played, time did not matter. Sometimes while playing the game, I used to realise that it’s dawn and we’d played through the night,” reminisces Sood.

But pragmatism and knowing the realities are important for the youngsters choosing sport today. Amandeep Singh, a student of Government College, claims to have taken up cricket for his love for the game. “There is so much money in the game. Even if you don’t make it to the national, IPL and local-level cricket can secure your future.”

Gaurav Sharma, a BA student, believes that government jobs are becoming rare these days. “Having played at the state or national- level sport is definitely a plus point when you are looking for a job,” he says.

Parents are also pressurising their children to turn professionals as early as possible. Prakriti Ahuja is proud that her seven-year-old is attending swimming classes everyday. “You know, it was my dream to make an achievement in swimming at the international level. Unfortunately I couldn’t do it. I am sure my daughter will be able to fulfill my dreams.” When asked about whether he likes going for swimming, little Rihan looked at his mother and nodded. “He is a brave boy. Sometimes he prefers to play badminton, but I know he will become a swimming champion one day,” she said. “International sport is getting so competitive. So to make it to the top, it is important to prepare children right from childhood,” she adds.



Frequent lightning strikes baffle meteorologists
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 5
The unusual phenomenon of lightning striking the city and its vicinity has got meteorologists at Punjab Agriculture University in a flap. Puzzled by repeated occurrences they have been calling up the Indian Metrological Department (IMD) office in Pune to discuss the heightened lightening activity.

The lightening that struck the dome of the Nanaksar Gurdwara located in the fish market near the Sherpur Chowk on Sunday not only damaged the dome but also killed four pigeons. The impact was such that electronic gadgets, including five TV sets in the nearby shanties were damaged. However, there was no report of anyone getting electrocuted.

Three transformers- two installed near Karma Hospital in Guru Arjan Dev Nagar and one near the Christian Medical College and Hospital-were damaged or partially burnt due to the lightening. Lightning also struck the city and split the tree into two on the PAU campus on August 30. It again struck on August 31, which disrupted the power supply. KK Gill, assistant professor, agro-meteorology, PAU, said: “We are collecting data and are in constant touch with Indian Metrological Department experts based in Pune.”



School kids mock at NDRF drill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 5
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) training, which was organised at Government Senior Secondary Model School, looked like a mock drill session for the NDRF men than a training session for 1,700 students from Class I to Class X.

The students were not even aware of the reason behind their presence in the school. Satosh Kumar Singh was assigned the duty to speak on what was being demonstrated. Sound coming out of old loudspeakers kept 10-foot away from students sitting in the first row was easier for soldiers to understand then schoolchildren.

The students clapped when the men slided the rope from the first floor and when the men was carried on the stretcher. Jatin, a student of Class X, could not tell what exactly the demonstrations were going on. Varinder Singh and Amarpreet Singh from class VIII could tell that first aid was being given to the injured. “I can’t listen to anything, but I can make out from what they are doing,” Pooja from Class VII only smiled when asked about what was going on, while Shivani from Class VIII said she couldn’t hear anything.

“I think the exercise is futile, as this technical equipment would not be available when the disaster strikes. I have attended such disaster management drills earlier also, but those were about how to improvise and make use of the available things and what to do what happens. This drill had little relevance as they are using hi-tech equipment,” said a teacher.



A day of thanksgiving for their selfless service
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, September 5
City schools and college celebrated Teachers’ Day. Students of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir School organised an award ceremony to honour the teachers for their academic results Maple Bear Canadian Play Way & nursery school, Udham Singh Nagar, Ludhiana celebrated the Teacher’s Day and remembered Dr S Radhakrishnan.

A Torch illuminating ceremony was organised giving a message that teachers enlighten this world through education.

Sat Paul Mittal School celebrated Teacher’s Day with a cultural extravaganza to appreciate the unwavering commitment of the teachers for the mission and vision.

Teachers of GN International Public School, Model Town celebrated Teacher’s Day and presented gifts along with a very informative pamphlet regarding - "Code of Professional Ethics for Teachers."

At St GDS Convent School, teachers enjoyed the day by spending their time in the staff room enjoying a good round of “antakshari” and other games. Teachers were also given appreciation certificates and awards for their role.

At chain of Green Land Schools, staff went to 'Havelli' Jalandhar to celebrate the day. At Spring Dale Public School, the management arranged for a recreational trip for all the teachers to Wonderland.

Some students also wrote poems in appreciation of their teachers. At GMT Public School, the students honoured the teachers. The environment at city colleges was also filled with devotion for teachers.

At Khalsa College for Women students prepared quotes and poems expressing their gratitude towards teachers with "good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others". The function at DD Jain College of Education comprised of speeches, poems, fold dances and musical chair for teachers.

Dr Param Pal Singh Sidhu, principal, Ludhiana Group of Colleges (LGC) inaugurated a teachers training program at the college. The theme of the training program was "effective teaching." Teachers participated in brain storming session on ways and means to become an effective teacher.

Students of Bhutta College of Education celebrated the day with a floral welcome to teachers.

Partap College of Education was marked by poems, presentations and voluntary speech by the students and the teachers.

MANDI GOBINDGARH: Desh Bhagat Group of institutes celebrated teacher’s Day. Dr Zora Singh, chairman presided over the function. Chief guest MLA Sardoolgarh Ajitinder Singh Mofat said a teacher is like a guru, who guides the students in every sphere. The director general, Dr Shalini Gupta, was also present on the occasion.

Doraha: Guru Nanak Model Senior Secondary School at Doraha today celebrated Teacher’s Day. Students organised a small cultural function. The students greeted all the teachers and expressed their gratitude. A party was organised for the whole staff. A tribute was paid to Dr Radhakrishnan.

Sahnewal: Students and teachers of Tagore International Public School Sahnewal celebrated Teachers' Day here on Monday. The principal welcomed the teachers. A cultural show including songs, skit, and choreography was organised. Many senior students did mimicked their teachers.



Vitamin D essential for bones: expert
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana September 5
A lecture on health awareness programme was organised by Rising Youth Organisation at Dugri here. Dr Parveen Kumar Gupta, an orthopaedician at a private hospital said Vitamin D holds the key for healthy bones as it controls calcium absorption to help the body in building strong bones and also maintains muscle strength.

He said deficiency of calcium and vitamin D causes bones to become weak, which then start breaking up to supply calcium to the rest of the body.

Parveen said deficiency of Vitamin D, is associated with low bone mass density and osteoporosis because it is needed to absorb calcium from the diet. "Low levels of vitamin D have also been linked with poor muscle strength and other chronic conditions, such as auto-immune disease and some forms of cancer. Vitamin D is also the only vitamin that does not need to be consumed in food or supplements because the human bodies are able at making it when the skin is exposed to direct sunlight,” he said.

Dr Gupta elaborated if one has a fair skin, and lives in a temperate climate zone; it takes just about 15 minutes a day in sun light to produce 100 to 200 units of vitamin D3.



National award for principal
Tribune News Service

Kamaljit KaurLudhiana, September 5
Kamaljit Kaur, principal of Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Government Girl Senior Secondary School, has been given the national award. She has been teaching since 1989 and is serving as principal since 2001.

She attributes her success to hard work, zeal for teaching and working for all-round development of students through various activities. She has been active in NCC, NSS and social welfare programmes. She believes that education is important for girls.

“Without education, girls cannot be economically independent. Hard work never goes unrewarded. One should be systematic in whatever one does,” she adds.

Sports are a priority with her. She encourages students to be active in sports. “It is important to teach students the value of sportmanship,” she says.



International workshop on rice cultivation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 5
An international workshop on “Accelerating resource conservation technologies for natural resource management and mitigating environmental degradation in Indo-Gangetic Plain” was held in the department of soil science at Punjab Agricultural University recently focusing on direct dry seeding of rice.

Dr Liz Humphreys, project leader and senior scientist at International Rice Research Institute in Philippines said the technique has the potential to be input saving with respect to irrigation water and labour. Giving an overview of the workshop, she said studies in depth needs to be carried out on different aspects of direct dry seeding of rice including irrigation water, weed and nutrient management in addition to performance of different rice cultivars under aerobic conditions.

Humphreys informed that the depletion of water resources at alarming rates in the Indo-Gangetic plains has prompted the scientists of the region to work under a project funded by International Funding for Agricultural Development.

Dr SS Kukal, professor of soil conservation and principle investigator of the project at Ludhiana said 30 scientists attended the workshop from different countries including India, Bangladesh, Nepal, the Philippines and Australia. These scientists discussed their experiences on various aspects of direct dry seeding of rice in the Indo-Gangetic Plains with different agro-climatic conditions.



Teaching comes to a halt on Teacher’s Day
Our Correspondent

Doraha, September 5
The teachers of Panjab University, Guru Nanak Dev University, Punjabi University, Punjab Agricultural University, GADVASU, government and private colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh boycotted teaching work and proceeded on mass casual leave to stage a protest rally on teacher’s day.

Punjab Federation of University and College Teachers Organisation (PFUCTO) had given the call. The rally was organised at the rally ground in Chandigarh.

General Secretary, Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union prof HS Walia said, “The non-payment of arrears of University Grants Commission (UGC) pay revision from January 1, 2006 is the main focus of our protest.” He added that in the state executive committee meeting it was decided that a total education bandh would be observed today. “In our future plans the teachers of private colleges will hold two period strikes in their respective colleges, on September 13 and 19. And on again on Sept 27, all the teachers of private colleges will go on mass casual leave to attend the rally in Chandigarh,” he added.



garbage lifting
Oppn questions MC chief’s role
Accuses him of hiring pvt tractor trolleys on higher rates
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 5
The local municipal council, which is already marred by allegations of misappropriation of funds, is now being accused of hiring tractor trolleys from private operators on high rates for lifting garbage from different parts of the city.

Though the corporation has a fleet of tractor trolleys for lifting the garbage, municipal president Baldev Krishan Dhir has been accused of hiring five to six tractor trolleys from the private operators on higher rates for lifting the garbage from different parts of the city.

According to sources, the municipal corporation is paying Rs 1,500 per day for one tractor trolley. Whereas the corporation will have to shell out Rs 500 per day if it operates its own tractor trolleys. Thus, the corporation is suffering loss worth Rs 1,000 per day. This decision of the municipal council has not gone down well with Opposition councillors. They have cast doubt on the president’s motive behind spending lakhs on hiring tractor trolleys from the private operators for lifting the garbage from various parts of the city.

The situation worsened when people sopped municipal employees from dumping the garbage at the civic body’s dump due to the foul smell emitting out of it. The problem was, however, resolved after the people allowed the employees to dump the garbage with an assurance of covering it with the soil.

The garbage-laden tractor-trolleys remained parked for two days due to the tussle between people and municipal employees. The municipal council was made to pay rent of these tractor trolleys for these days as well.

Questioning the municipal council president’s decision to hire tractor trolleys on higher rates, Congress councillor Ravinder Kumar Sabharwal alleged that the president hired these to benefit a few private operators close to him. “What was the need to hire the tractor trolleys from the private operators when the municipal council has its own fleet,” asked Sabharwal?

According to him, the council has never hired such vehicles in the past for lifting the garbage. Moreover when the cost of operating own tractor trolleys was not more than Rs 500 per day, the president’s decision to hire these from the private operators is beyond our imagination. The president of the council has no right to waste public money in such a way,” he added.

When contacted, municipal council’s president Baldev Krishan Dhir said: “The private tractor trolleys were hired as the those owned by the council have been sent for repair. Though we had hired these for one-da, but those living near the council’s dump stopped our employees from dumping the garbage, we were forced to pay the rent for two more days.”



The maze of life
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 5
The play ‘Adhe Adhure’, written by Mohan Rakesh, was staged at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan here. The event was organised by the Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam. Veteran artistes Mohan Agashe and Lilette Dubey were the protagonists in the play.

“This play is about realism and relationships,” said Agashe. Though it was written in the 1960s and had been been staged several times, it was still relevant, he added.

The play is set in Delhi in 1969. Savitri, played by Lilette, is the sole breadwinner in the house. Mahinder Nath, played by Agashe, is her husband.

Ashok, Kinny and Binny are their children, played by Rajeev Sidhartha, Anoushka Sawhney and Ira Dubey. The play brings forward dilemmas and complexities in life.

“As the characters in the play are complex and realistic and have multi-layered personalities, doing justice to the characters in the play is a challenge,” said Agashe, who played four characters in the play.

Lilette’s daughter Ira said it was always a pleasure to be in Ludhiana. “The Ludhiana audience is very receptive, discerning and intelligent,” she said. She added that she had performed in two plays here, the other being ‘Womanly Voices’.



RTI activist claims threat by GLADA official
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 5
Arvind Sharma, general secretary of the Council of RTI Activists, today alleged that the assistant public information officer (APIO) of the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA), Shiv Kumar Gupta, had threatened him of dire consequences if he persisted with demanding information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act about employees who had sought permission from the competent authoritiews to leave station every day, twice a week or once a week.

In a complaint lodged with the Model Town police today, Sharma stated that he submitted an application under the RTI Act on August 19 with GLADA for providing information about permission granted to its employees to leave station.

According to the complainant, he received a call from the GLADA APIO from his mobile number (9855155137) around 2:55 pm today, wherein Gupta threatened him to withdraw the RTI application or else be prepared to face the consequences.

"When I asked him to elaborate, he said you will meet the same fate as that of RTI activists in some other states," Sharma maintained, pleading with the police to provide him security.

Gupta denied having threatened the RTI activist. Asked about the complaint lodged by Sharma with the police, he admitted that he called up Sharma, but the purpose was to tell him that the information sought by him under the RTI Act was ready and he could personally collect it from GLADA office if he so desired.

"When the information demanded by the applicant is ready, where is the need to threaten him and put pressure on him to withdraw the application," he asked.



Machine that washes 12 quintals of carrot in 18 minutes!
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 5
A 66-years-old man Mahinder Singh displayed his carrot washing machine during a National Farm Innovators Meet at CIPHET here today. The machine that washes 12 quintals of carrots in just 18-20 minutes was invented by Mahinder.

Mahinder Singh said he was too happy over the "invention". "For making the machine, I used 5.5 quintals of iron. Besides, wood, grills, juice bearings have also been used. Only 250 ml of diesel is used in washing 12 quintals of carrots. Earlier, almost six people used to wash this much quantity of carrots and it took from morning till evening to for the process. I have spent about Rs 36,000 on making this machine but I will not charge more than Rs 45,000 for selling it,” said Mahinder.

He added that he was trying to make the particular machine for the past several decades but got success a few years ago. Mahinder said, "I have been getting many queries about it. The machine is very useful in winters, when it becomes difficult to wash huge quantity of carrots due to weather."

The farmer added that he had also developed a technology through which farmers will be able to get spinach crop within 26 days instead of its normal cultivation cycle of about 40 days.



SBI donates ceiling fans to schools
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 5
Paying gratitude to teachers for their contribution in spreading education and knowledge, officials of various branches of the State Bank of India organised functions on the occasion of Teacher’s Day today.

As a part of the organisation’s Corporate Social Responsibility Programme, many schools were donated ceiling fans.

The main function was organised at Government Senior Secondary School Dehlon, which was presided over by joint sub registrar Harbans Singh who was the chief guest. Sher Singh, branch manager State Bank of India, Kilaraipur Road presented ceiling fans for a newly built hall.

Ashutosh Singh and PP Singh branch managers at local branch and Sehora village presented fans on behalf of the organisation at a Government Senior Secondary School Chhappar and Sehora.



Stadium at PAU misses deadline
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 5
Though Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has claimed that six floodlit stadiums in the state, including Olympian Prithipal Singh Hockey Stadium at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here, will be completed by August 30, these have missed the deadline.

The reason is rain, but director sports Pargat Singh has claimed that the PAU stadium will be ready by October 15. “The material for the construction of the stadium, laying of AstroTurf and installation of floodlights, besides other work, has already arrived here,” he said.

“The main problem we are facing is the rain. Whenever we start work on the AstroTurf, it rains, which leads to further delay. We are hopeful that the stadium will be ready by October 15,” he claimed.

The pillars on which floodlights would be installed had arrived here. “Workers have been pressed into service. I can assure you that work is going on at a fast pace,” claimed district sports officer Surjit Singh Sandhu.



Dhruv pandove cricket tournament
Ludhiana prevail over Muktsar
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 5
Hosts Ludhiana survived many anxious moments before squeezing past Muktsar to gain a slender 1-run lead in the first innings to gain two points in the second match of the Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournament (u-19) for the Dhruv Pandove Trophy played at Punjab Agricultural University here today.

Yesterday, Ludhiana had made 134 runs in their first inning while Muktsar were 51 for four at draw of stumps.

It was a see-saw battle between the two sides. Resuming their innings today, the visitors failed to hold on and kept on losing wickets at regular intervals and the hosts succeeded in defending the small total of 134 runs.

Last night’s not out batsman, Roop Karan (22) added 11 runs in his score before losing his wicket. Amandeep and Harjot Singh tried to steady the innings.

They contributed 33 and 35 runs, respectively.

However, Ludhiana bowlers, especially Sandip Singh and Amrit Pal Singh kept their nerves in control at crucial juncture to contain Muktsar to 133 runs, earning one run lead on the basis of which they were awarded two points.

Sandip captured five wickets for 45 runs while Amrit Pal grabbed four wickets for 47 run and Abhinav claimed one for 2.

In the second innings, Ludhiana was 63 for no loss after 38 overs when the tow umpires called it a day. Sunny Pandey and Harjit Singh remained unconquered on 24 and 18 runs, respectively.

The third match will be played between Ludhiana and Barnala on September 7 and 8.



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